Skip to content

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email:
Blue herons can be spotted looking for their next meal at the Waldie Island Heron reserve, near Castlegar. Photo: Jennifer Small

Freelance photographer Jennifer Small captured this gorgeous image of a Great Blue Heron looking for its next meal at the Waldie Island Heron reserve, near Castlegar.

See more: Great Blue Heron graces Trail waters

Read more: Great Blue Heron in the Columbia Basin: study

About the Great Blue Heron

Whether poised at a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wingbeats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for this widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind.

Found along shorelines, river banks, and the edges of marshes, estuaries, and ponds, Great Blue Herons also feed in meadows, farmland, and other open fields. Some colonies or “heronries” are found near developed areas; look for the herons’ bulky stick nests high in trees.

From Castlegar Parks & Trails website,

The Waldie Island Trail was developed in 1996 by Walter Volovsek and Castlegar Friends of Parks and Trails to reclaim the historical heritage of this important stretch of the Columbia River and to introduce to the hiker the intricacies of the surrounding riparian ecosystem. This trail goes through a protected Blue Heron bird sanctuary known as the Waldie Island Heron reserve.

This is a non-motorized multi-use trail shared by cyclists and hikers alike. We ask of dog-owners to please keep their pets under control at all times to prevent them from disturbing birds. This is particularly important for Blue Heron population recovery in this area.

The trail follows the north shore of the river from the C.P.R. Bridge to Brilliant, a distance of 1.5 km. It is designed as a self-guided trail, richly rewarding for the contemplative hiker.

The Waldie Island Trail runs through a wildlife reserve and because of ecological sensitivity, is meant for non-motorized traffic only. Dogs running loose can frighten and harass the wildlife we are trying to protect.

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

Read more